Kobernus returned to Nationals

VIERA, Fla. - Oh, hey there. I’m back.

After a few days home, I’ve returned to Viera ready for the final stretch. The Nats now have just five more days down here before shipping up north to take on the Yankees in an exhibition game at Nationals Park on March 29, and I’ll have you covered the rest of the way.

Big thanks to Pete Kerzel for filling in for me in my absence. My time away from Florida was actually a bit longer than expected; my flight down to Orlando got hit with a lengthy delay, and I ended up getting in too late to make the trip to Port St. Lucie for today’s Nationals-Mets game.

I do, however, have some news to report: The Nationals have received infielder Jeff Kobernus, a Rule 5 pick this offseason, back from the Tigers.

Kobernus was locked in a battle for a spot on Detroit’s 25-man roster, but he came up a bit short. The 24-year-old posted a .220/.291/.300 line with two triples and three RBIs in 55 plate appearances with the Tigers this spring.

A second-round pick of the Nats in 2009, Kobernus played last season at Double-A Harrisburg, batting .282.

The Tigers would have needed to keep Kobernus on their 25-man roster all season in order to keep his rights. Instead, by returning Kobernus to the Nats, they recoup half of the $50,000 they paid for him.

Danny Rosenbaum was the other player the Nats lost in the Rule 5 draft this winter. The left-hander, who posted a 3.94 ERA at Harrisburg last season, has gone 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in eight innings with the Rockies this spring.

The Nats lost to the Mets 3-1 today, with Gio Gonzalez turning in six innings of one-run ball.

Drew Storen allowed a home run to Lucas Duda in the seventh inning, and Zach Duke gave up another run in the eighth. Both hurlers now have spring ERAs of 5.40.

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